MIKE’S MUSINGS – 2 February 2010

MERNA AND IRENE –THANK YOU

When Merna Merrett, the Men’s Fixture Secretary, emailed me in the middle of last week anticipating bad weather for the weekend I thought she was being unduly pessimistic but as we all know by now her pessimism was totally justified with only the Men’s 6ths fixture away at Sudbury surviving yet another wintry blast. Merna kindly took on the job at the beginning of last season since when she and Irene Bicker, the Ladies’ Fixture Secretary, have had more postponements to deal with than for years. So I am sure I speak on behalf of all members when I thank Merna and Irene, and the various team captains, for all their hard work necessitated by the postponements and subsequent rearrangements.

The forecast for this weekend is far more promising and for the first time in ages we have eight matches scheduled at Weybread on Saturday. After their successful indoor exploits the Ladies’ 1sts will need to adapt to what is generally recognised to be the main form of the game when they resume their national outdoor campaign by entertaining Cambridge City (12.30). The team will be mindful of their two defeats just before the mid-season break and City’s improved form since Magpies won 2-0 at Cambridge early in October. Next up will be the Ladies’ 2nds who play Norwich City (2.15) looking to improve on the good point they got away from home in the first half of the season following a 2-2 draw. Meantime the Men’s 2nds are away to Cambridge Nomads and a repeat of their 7-2 win back in October would be most welcome as the team attempts to keep in touch with Cambridge City and Wapping near the top of their league.

On Sunday the Men’s 1sts are also back in national league outdoor action for the first time since the end of November when they travel to Rochester in Kent to play Holcombe (1.30) seeking their first 3-point haul since beating Chelmsford on October 10th. When the teams met earlier in the season the result could have gone either way with Magpies settling for a 1-1 draw having defended two penalty corners from former England centre forward David Mathews in the dying seconds.

Meantime the club will be busy on Sunday hosting the Suffolk Junior Academy Centre after the Mixed team start their England Hockey Trophy campaign, under the captaincy of David Francis, by playing Norwich City at 12.15pm. Please see the Home Page of the website for a full list of this weekend’s matches. Good luck to all our teams.

News and comments in brief
§ Congratulations to East Grinstead on retaining their national indoor title when they beat Surbiton last Sunday at the Trent FM Arena in Nottingham. While I have no argument with Chris Mayer’s decision to make Ashley Jackson Sky TV’s Man of the Final I thought he was pushed all the way by his teammate and former GB and England star Mark Pearn. I have been an admirer of Mark ever since I saw him make his international debut in the Champions Trophy in Berlin in 1995.

§ It is difficult to keep Ashley Jackson (surely England’s most talented player for many years) out of the news and last week he gained another honour by being named the UK Hockey Player of 2009 following the annual poll conducted amongst the British members of the Hockey Writers’ Club. Helen Richardson was winner of the women’s award. Ashley’s award came as no surprise as not long ago he was named the FIH’s World Young Player of 2009!

§ If you wish to follow the forthcoming FIH Men’s World Cup please go to www.worldhockey.org/worldcup

§ It is still not too late to kindly offer Promises for the Auction of Promises to be held on Saturday 13 March. I would be delighted to hear from you. But most importantly of all please put the date in your diary and come along on the night!

§ Many thanks to everyone who supported last Saturday’s very successful Rioja and Roll Evening in Tibbenham’s Barn and congratulations to the Fund Raising and Social Committee for the splendid eats and drinks.

With kind regards and best wishes

Mike Denham 01603 506925 MDenham975@aol.com 2/2/10